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Alfred Einstein

Updated on December 1, 2016

Alfred Einstein (1880-1952) was a German-American musicologist. A second cousin of Albert Einstein, he was born in Munich, Germany, on December 30, 1880, He received his doctorate in music from the University of Munich in 1903.

While serving as editor of the Zeitschrift fur Musikwissenschaft from 1918 to 1933, he was music critic for the Miinchner Post and later the Berliner Tageblatt. Forced into exile by the Nazi regime, he lived in England, France, and Italy before going to the United States in 1939, where he became a citizen in 1945. Einstein taught at Smith College from the time of his arrival in America until 1950. He died in El Cerrito, California, on February 13, 1952.

Einstein was recognized as a world authority in musicology and wrote on a dazzling variety of subjects. He edited much early music, revised Koechel's Thematic Catalogue of Mozart's Work (937), and wrote an intensive study, Mozart: His Character, His Work (1945). His masterpiece was the three volume The Italian Madrigal (1949).

Among Einstein's other books are A Short History of Music (1936; revised in 1938 and 1947) and the posthumously published Essays on Music (1956).


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